With no Joao Moreira to follow blindly at Happy Valley (due to an early enforced Christmas holiday), there is an opportunity for top Valley jockey Zac Purton to cut the eight-win deficit that he trails the Brazilian in the jockeys’ championship.
Purton, who is aboard market leader Cheerfuljet in race four, also rides progressive EVER LAUGH, who lines-up over the extended mile in race five (1.15pm).
This lightly-raced Australian import has improved in all four runs, and looked a sure-fire future winner when runner-up over a mile at Sha Tin last month.
Most importantly he looked like a ‘Scalextric car’ when winning his trial around the tight Valley bends recently, and although likely to be ‘red hot’ with the betting public, he is going to be hard to beat.
In the same race keep an eye on SMART BABY, who screamed “follow me next time” when given too much to do over the track and trip recently.
The most intriguing contest of the afternoon is the finale (2.50pm).
Lining up are some of the quickest horses in Hong Kong, and it’s imperative you don’t blink!
The race will be over in under 70 seconds, and the start will play an important factor.
There are numerous front-runners, notably speedster Fabulous One, and fast-improving bottom-weight Fantastic Eight, who are both drawn to fly along the inside rail.
This could set the race up nicely for the devastating late dash of ARCHIPPUS with Purton in the saddle.
He should relish the step back up to six furlongs after staying on well last time out to finish third.
Ever Laugh 1.15pm Happy Valley
Smart Baby e/w 1.15pm Happy Valley
Archippus e/w 2.50pm Happy Valley